KOCHI: Customs has started to monitor the activities of staff of international airlines operating out of airports in Kerala after inputs revealed that a few of them are acting in collusion with gold smuggling rackets to illegally bring in gold to the country.
Official sources said the inputs in fact yielded results when they recently nabbed a flight security executive of a private airline operator for attempting to smuggle gold in a flight.
"We arrested the executive after seizing the gold from inside the aircraft. A detailed probe is on to find out his links," said a Customs officer. The accused, Nishad Ali (28) of Angadippuram, Malappuram, was caught by Customs Preventive Unit in Kozhikode.
However, the arrest of the executive has put the Customs in a tight spot when the Sessions Court here granted bail to the accused observing that the Customs couldn't provide enough evidence against the accused, who was arrested on December 18, 2021.
The accused had also submitted in the court that the alleged seizure of gold from inside the flight was only at the instance of the officers, who had prior information regarding the smuggling. Customs sources said they have sufficient inputs on the operations of a big network of the smuggling racket involving staff of private international airlines.